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Old 02-20-2013, 12:36 AM   #1
AK_Christina
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Moving out of state and buying first house?

So we currently live in AK and have decided to move to the lower 48 in the next 4-5 months. We would like to buy a house when we move in lieu of renting if we can. That being said, has anyone done this before or have any insight on this? We are just starting to look for jobs and I am sure wherever we go we will be taking a pay cut. Anyone know how that works with the bank or our ability to get approved for a loan? Will they not approve us because of this?
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:28 AM   #2
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I would think that it would be wise to hold off on buying a house for a while. #1: without a job makes it harder to narrow down just where to buy a house. You could end up with a job in a different city or area with a lousy commute. #2: if you are totally new to an area, it is much harder to choose where to buy a house for your needs. And yes #3 it might be pretty hard to get a mortgage without a job.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #3
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We have moved across the country twice, to unfamiliar cities. The first time we rented an apartment (pre-child) and bought a house after living there for a few months. Second time I sent my husband ahead to buy a house (post-child so we wanted to be in a house right away). Huge mistake!! We thought the neighborhood was good and the house was good. Instead we're in a neighborhood we would never chose again and in a house that is horribly built. I highly recommend you rent where ever you go to make sure you are getting a good house in a good location. Learn from our mistake.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_Christina
So we currently live in AK and have decided to move to the lower 48 in the next 4-5 months. We would like to buy a house when we move in lieu of renting if we can. That being said, has anyone done this before or have any insight on this? We are just starting to look for jobs and I am sure wherever we go we will be taking a pay cut. Anyone know how that works with the bank or our ability to get approved for a loan? Will they not approve us because of this?
Without a source of income, you won't be approved for a mortgage . Somebody may give you a preapproval but that would be subject to verifying everything including income.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimalie
We have moved across the country twice, to unfamiliar cities. The first time we rented an apartment (pre-child) and bought a house after living there for a few months. Second time I sent my husband ahead to buy a house (post-child so we wanted to be in a house right away). Huge mistake!! We thought the neighborhood was good and the house was good. Instead we're in a neighborhood we would never chose again and in a house that is horribly built. I highly recommend you rent where ever you go to make sure you are getting a good house in a good location. Learn from our mistake.
I double this statement! We are in the process of getting our house ready to put on the market and move down south. When we moved here, we decided to buy a house. Loved the house. Was told by the realtor what a great small school and community it was. We did not do our homework. Had we known the area better we NEVER would have bought here. We just didn't have enough information to realize that at the time.We were just so excited to buy a house. It was our own fault for not doing our homework. Now when we move to SC, the plan is to rent a house for a year. We have already gone down and taken a look and we believe we know the community we want to live. They are ranked high on their school district especially compared to all of the other schools in that general area that we could live. Test scores are high and they have the programs and extra things that we are looking for for our daughter. When I move, I only have 3 years left in the service. We are hoping that we love this area and will want to retire there. If after a year we don't love it, we will just continue to rent until I am out and move elsewhere. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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Being in a military family, I have moved between different states many times. I agree with others here; don't even think about buying a house until you have lived in your new town for a while. You really can't know where your ideal location will be, especially if you don't know where you'll be working. Rent!

The whole issue is moot anyway, because if you are going to need a loan to buy a house, you won't be able to qualify without a job. Renting for a year will give you some job history to help qualify for a loan.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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I would NOT want to rent before I bought if your goal is to own a home and it's in your budget.

This is because DH and I DESPISE moving and think it's the most dreadful experience ever.

The people on this thread who poo-pooed the idea of buying initially did not do their homework it seems like and just went off what the realtor said or whatever impression they got just from seeing the house/neighborhood. BAD IDEA. Realtor will say/do anything to get you to buy.

If you do your research up front (online message boards can be a great forum...not this one in particular though...research school districs, look at crime rates, etc.) I think you can be happy with what you select right away instead of renting first.

The one thing that I would hold off on in terms of signing on the dotted line for a house is getting a job lined up first. There is nothing I'd hate more than a long commute.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BadgerGirl84 View Post
The people on this thread who poo-pooed the idea of buying initially did not do their homework it seems like and just went off what the realtor said or whatever impression they got just from seeing the house/neighborhood. BAD IDEA. Realtor will say/do anything to get you to buy.
.
We did our homework before buying. This was a great town and area and the schools are ranked as some of the best in the area. But right after we moved in the neighborhood started to change. If we had rented, we wouldn't have picked this neighborhood after 3 months or so. My husband even went back to the neighborhood at night, went to talk to neighbors, etc. But the change began when the market crashed. Our real estate agent was assigned to us and she didn't know the area at all so we couldn't rely on her to give us a good assessment of the neighborhood.

I have to admit that we didn't check out the builder, though. This was our 3rd home and we had never had one badly built until this one. I will NEVER buy from this builder again and now we have learned our lesson.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AK_Christina View Post
So we currently live in AK and have decided to move to the lower 48 in the next 4-5 months. We would like to buy a house when we move in lieu of renting if we can. That being said, has anyone done this before or have any insight on this? We are just starting to look for jobs and I am sure wherever we go we will be taking a pay cut. Anyone know how that works with the bank or our ability to get approved for a loan? Will they not approve us because of this?
Omg--me too! I am probably moving this summer because my parents have had some health issues, and it's too hard and too expensive to get down there to help. Not looking for the same town or even state, but close enough to drive in a day or so. I'm thinking of moving to Wyoming--more civilized than AK, but still mostly rural. I am only assuming I'll qualify for a loan--I'll have been more than 2 years in my field, but I'll obviously be at a new job.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerGirl84
I would NOT want to rent before I bought if your goal is to own a home and it's in your budget.

This is because DH and I DESPISE moving and think it's the most dreadful experience ever.

The people on this thread who poo-pooed the idea of buying initially did not do their homework it seems like and just went off what the realtor said or whatever impression they got just from seeing the house/neighborhood. BAD IDEA. Realtor will say/do anything to get you to buy.

If you do your research up front (online message boards can be a great forum...not this one in particular though...research school districs, look at crime rates, etc.) I think you can be happy with what you select right away instead of renting first.

The one thing that I would hold off on in terms of signing on the dotted line for a house is getting a job lined up first. There is nothing I'd hate more than a long commute.
But even if they do their homework, they will have a hard time getting a mortgage if they don't have jobs or just start their jobs.

It's also not as easy to get rid of a house as it used to be if you make a mistake.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by StitchesGr8Fan View Post
But even if they do their homework, they will have a hard time getting a mortgage if they don't have jobs or just start their jobs.

It's also not as easy to get rid of a house as it used to be if you make a mistake.
Is that true if you work in the same field? I was told a few years ago that it didn't matter if you changed jobs as long as it was a similar job (I'm an slp--so pretty much no matter where I work, it would be as a therapist). I can't remember how long ago I was told that, though. Might be different now since they're so much stricter.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tasha99

Is that true if you work in the same field? I was told a few years ago that it didn't matter if you changed jobs as long as it was a similar job (I'm an slp--so pretty much no matter where I work, it would be as a therapist). I can't remember how long ago I was told that, though. Might be different now since they're so much stricter.
It depends on the mortgage company. They have gotten super strict since the collapse. If one of the co-signers has been in their job a long time, they may be more lenient if the second signer is in a new job. Some at least like to see you get past the 90 day trial period, but the standard is 6 months. It also depends on if you are salary or hourly. Another variable is if you have a relocation package for the new job, they may partner with a lender. You may find a lender willing to take the risk, but will charge you a higher interest rate to make up for the risk, which could negate the savings of not renting over the life of the loan.

It's kind of a crappy situation for new home buyers. You see these great rates advertised, but you have to be a perfect candidate (high credit score, 20% down payment, little other debt, established in your job) to get them. Otherwise they either won't take the risk or they find other ways to charge you for the "privilege" of borrowing their money.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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OP, I'm not saying its not possible. Just be prepared to do LOTS of homework to find 2 jobs within a reasonable, commutable distance near a city you want to live in, the right house and neighborhood you can live in for years, and a good mortgage company that will give you a good loan.

Also, make sure you know how taxes work in your new state, both income and property taxes. I'm not sure if AK has income tax, but I've heard it is a shock when people move from a state that doesn't charge it to a state that does. And as renters, property taxes can be a shock. A $900 a month mortgage seems like a no-brainer compared to renting, but add on $500 a month for taxes and its a little more painful to write that check every month. A good mortgage company won't give you a loan on a house that has taxes that will be over your budget though.

Everyone needs to do their research now before buying or building a house. Or taking a new job for that matter. It is not as easy to find a new job or sell a house as it was during peak times.

Good luck OP. I'm sure you guys will make the right decision for you.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Also, make sure you know how taxes work in your new state, both income and property taxes. I'm not sure if AK has income tax, but I've heard it is a shock when people move from a state that doesn't charge it to a state that does.
AK has no state income tax.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by BadgerGirl84 View Post
The people on this thread who poo-pooed the idea of buying initially did not do their homework it seems like and just went off what the realtor said or whatever impression they got just from seeing the house/neighborhood.
I don't post much, but this is just a silly comment. School districts, crime rates, and message boards can't really tell you what it's like to live in a certain area. There are lots of subtle differences between and even within neighborhoods that can make an impact.

This is someone from Alaska - they can't just make weekend trips to open houses. Both getting new jobs with uncertain salaries. Probably having limited options in terms of location because they're looking for two jobs available at the same time in the same place. They could easily hate the area or the new jobs. They could end up in a house where the neighbors have loud parties all weekend or the commute is worse than anticipated.

Yes, a benefit of buying is not having to move twice. But packing a moving van is far less painful than buying and regretting it.
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